Account-based Marketing is getting higher attention these days. Account-based marketing is a planned approach to marketing in which your time and resources focus on a key group of specific accounts.
You can’t arrive on any B2B online marketing journals nowadays without hearing about it. We just need to look around the internet to see that it is turning more and more personalized. As a B2B marketer, the ability to personalize, at scale, represents a great opportunity.
According to a survey, 97% of marketers say that ABM had higher ROI than any other marketing activity. So vendors, bloggers, and market research firms are fueling the revival of account-based marketing’s popularity these days.
As a B2B marketer, what you really want to learn is how to use account-based marketing effectively for lead generation. So in this blog post, we have requested some world’s top ABM experts to share their insights on “Account-based marketing tactics to follow in 2020”.
We are really glad to have these 12 experts with us who have shared their valuable insights on various marketing strategies to look-out for in 2020.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a bit of a misnomer as in fact, its account based sales, account based marketing, account bases customer service, etc etc. In my experience if a company calls it account based marketing there is an assumption that it’s marketing’s job. When ABM or account based everything (ABE) is a better description.
ABE is a team effort and not siloed. All parts of the business have a common language and work together to support a common strategy and aim.
ABE can be used either as a strategy by a company across all accounts or as a tactic in certain accounts. For example a company my market and sell into to a handful off accounts or go for multiple accounts but use ABE in existing customer accounts. For example, ABE is often used where a company is taking a “land and expand” approach to sales and marketing.
We always recommend that there is a set of criteria set of the type of accounts going into an ABE program. Often it is assumed that these accounts are “better” and people want their accounts added to the focus group. People need to be strict on the account focus group, otherwise there will be dilution in the ABE focus.
We highly recommend my second book “SMarketing – How to Achieve Competitive Advantage through blended sales and Marketing” there is a chapter on how to use ABE as an approach. We also define a methodology from the business to follow. This book is available on all Amazon platforms.
Tim Hughes is universally recognised as the world leading pioneer and exponents of Social Selling and he is currently ranked Number 1 by Onalytica as the most influential social selling person in the world. He is also Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Leadership Associates and co-author of the bestselling books “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” and “Smarketing – How To Achieve Competitive Advantage through blended Sales and Marketing”. Both published by Kogan Page. You can connect with him on Twitter.
I think 2020 might be the year that influencers really have an impact on ABM. It’s going to be more than just the star of your webinar, too. I can see companies identifying influencers that directly engage with or impact key accounts and partnering with them to inform or educate those targets around your industry, product, service or unique selling proposition. Influencers aren’t just duck face and peace signs on Instagram. They impact your prospects. Why not leverage them to move your target accounts closer to your funnel?
For one-to-one ABM, ITSMA’s latest research with the ABM Leadership Alliance shows the following to be the top five most effective tactics:
1. Account-specific (custom/bespoke) content and thought leadership
2. Executive-to-executive relationship programs
3. In-person events (esp. small executive and company events)
4. Direct mail
5. Paid social media
The same survey shows that one-to-few ABM top tactics are:
1. In-person events (esp. small executive and company events)
2. Email marketing/e-newsletters
3. Account-specific (custom/bespoke) content and thought leadership
4. Paid social media
5. Executive-to-executive relationship programs
And finally, for one-to-many ABM, its:
1. Email marketing/e-newsletters
2. Paid social media
3. Webinars and virtual events
4. Paid search
5. In-person events (esp. company events and trade shows/expos)
Bev Burgess is a senior vice president with ITSMA and leads its global ABM practice. For more than 25 years, ITSMA has led the way in defining, building, and inspiring B2B services marketing excellence, and was the first to codify ABM as a strategic marketing approach back in 2003. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter
One ABM strategy my team and I use regularly is sending out targeted email campaigns. We are constantly mining data about our subscribers, like actions they take within emails (for instance, clicking a link to make a purchase), as well as data collected from surveys and forms. This allows us to created highly-targeted, personalized campaigns that are much more likely to result in conversions.
This also allows us to better serve our clients and subscribers as we can send out content that
meets them exactly where they’re at. For instance, by identifying a group of subscribers who are in the final stages of the sales process, we can send out educational content targeted at the specific questions and issues they are most likely to have. Not only does this benefit us (in terms of increased sales), it benefits them by giving them the exact information they need, exactly when they need it.
Another strategy that has been hugely successful for us is using Facebook Custom Audiences. This allows us to basically be everywhere our audience is! We can target our Facebook ads to people who are on our email list, who have visited our website, or who have engaged with our content on Facebook. Each customer touch point is important to us, and using Custom Audiences ensures we’re able to build and expand on every interaction we have with our potential customers and clients.
Kim Garst is one of the world’s most retweeted people among digital marketers. She is a renowned marketing strategist, keynote speaker and an international best-selling author of Will The Real You Please Stand Up, Show Up, Be Authentic and Prosper in Social Media. Kim focuses on helping entrepreneurs grow their business using social and digital media strategies. You can connect with her on Twitter.
With 75% of world trade flowing indirectly (WTO), it is time to start thinking about your ABM approach in coordination with channels, partners, and alliances. There is a robust ecosystem of partners that already surround your buyers and you can use ABM, or in this case, partner-based marketing (PBM) approaches to recruit the right partners and align on your sales and marketing strategies.
Today’s empowered B2B customers demand a new level of specialization and sophistication from third-party firms that assist them. Choosing the wrong partners in 2020 can have dire consequences on your business: increasing costs, limiting revenue growth, and ceding new markets to competitors.
A PBM program is based on data-driven decisions that lead to better outcomes, leverages existing skills and solutions to break down organizational silos, and enables a full life-cycle approach to partner management. To be successful with PBM, channel leaders should start with a pilot program focused on a single product or market, choose a project manager with strong analytical skills, and partner with sales to reduce any fears they may have about losing control of the partner recruitment process.
Jay McBain is one of the most visible and respected thought leaders in the global channel. Named to the Top 40 Under Forty by the Business Review as well as numerous channel magazines top influencer lists, he is often sought out for industry guidance and future trends. He has spent his 25-year career in various executive channel sales, marketing, and strategy roles within IBM, Lenovo, and ChannelEyes. Jay is the principal analyst for global channels, partnerships, and alliances at Forrester – one of the most influential global research and advisory firms in the world. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.
In the new year, account-based marketing trends reflect a need for creating robust data orchestration plans between marketing and sales. These plans enable the coordination and delivery of relevant and timely information for marketing and sales to engage members within the buyer’s circle in order to increase activity to drive business outcomes, wherever they are in their journey.
I am an ITSMA certified account-based marketing (ABM) and SiriusDecisions certified B2B demand generation marketing leader. I bring a fresh approach to leading teams with an open, objective and organized management style to solve problems and strategically land and expand accounts. I hold a diverse background in finance, banking and capital markets, technology, legal, retail, automotive, health, and private equity sectors. You can connect with him on Twitter.